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In his letter (Solihull News July 23) Councillor Timothy Hodgson states that the Conservatives are ‘now keen to deny their policies’ What arrant nonsense!

In his letter (Solihull News July 23) Councillor Timothy Hodgson states that the Conservatives are ‘now keen to deny their policies’ What arrant nonsense!

As cabinet member for community services and the environment my decisions were made in good faith based on advice from the council’s officers. When we were in control of the council all my decisions were made following consultation with the then opposition spokesmen, Councillors Timothy Hodgson and Graham Craig.

Tim’s suggestion that my policy was to deny residents on the purple sack system the same capacity as those using wheelie bins is plain silly. What reason would I have to do such a thing? I was advised that two purple sacks provided the same capacity as one wheelie bin and I made my decision accordingly. Litre for litre it is the case but experience has shown that those residents with wheelie bins are able push rubbish down in their bins and those with purple sacks cannot do the same. During the roll out of the no side waste policy the problem came to light and it became clear that approximately half a sack per week capacity more is needed for residents using purple sacks than was originally estimated. This has now been rectified.

I strongly refute that there was any attempt to discriminate against residents using purple bags. If Tim was so exercised by my decision he could have spoken out at the time.

It is quite noticeable that he is happy to claim credit for issues such as recycling and a review of the policy on charging for replacement bins and boxes, which were already in the pipeline.

The changes to our waste collection service which began last September were the biggest for 30 years and the roll out is still being closely monitored. I too would like to thank Solihull residents for their efforts in recycling and I am glad that I took the decisions, supported cross party, to implement the recycling programme which has resulted in 40.64% of our waste being recycled.

A record for Solihull and its residents – not for Tim or the Liberal Democrats!

Councillor Kate Wild, Solihull MBC



BEL MacDonald (Letters) describes the S4 Solihull-Shirley bus route as a Cinderella service. There’s another one locally - the 82 Solihull to Coventry service.

Historically, buses on this route have run hourly, or thereabouts, six days a week - according to the timetable at least. In reality, it’s been nothing like that because the service has been plagued by bad timekeeping and cancellations.

This week has seen the third change of operator in as many years. And in the years before that there were several more. It seems no-one really wants to run the service.

The last operator, National Express West Midlands, was among the worst, which I felt was particularly disappointing, given the size of the company. Let’s hope the new operator, Central Connect, can make a better job of it.

The No 82 is an important service because it links villages like Hampton-in-Arden and Meriden with Solihull and Coventry. Many of the passengers are elderly people without their own means of transport.

Local taxpayers deserve better. Solihull Council pays a levy of more than 11 million pounds a year to Centro to support public transport in the West Midlands - bus and rail. Is it satisfied it gets value for money?

Peter Kennedy



Work for free

I DON’T think the public have quite grasped the ‘Big Society’ plan - this isn’t about a better society, but about a free public army of press-ganged labour, where the unemployed, disabled and sick will be filling the jobs left vacant by council cut backs, there’s no intention to create real jobs in the industrial north and no intention of training workers in vocational skills, this is all about shedding employers contractual responsibilities and forcing a ‘voluntary’ army to work for nothing.

ST Vaughan, Glastonbury Road, Yardley Wood


Super support

WE just wanted to write to say thank you very much to all the people who came out to support the runners, joggers and walkers in Solihull’s Race for Life on Sunday, June 27.

The atmosphere was great, and it was encouraging and inspiring to see supporters along the route.

Thanks in particular to the thoughtful and fun family who were out in full force with various shapes and sizes of water pistol!

What refreshing support that was, and in more ways than one; it was 27 degrees!

If Race for Life returns to Solihull next year, let’s hope even more people take part, and even more people support.

We also wanted to send our get well wishes to the Mayor of Solihull, who himself is battling cancer.

Eleni Theodosi, Julia Spencer and Steve (Stephanie) Spencer (all of Solihull)



Cathrina Hulse
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Annette Belcher
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